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Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

I have been brought into a project that has an open application with the DOB. The old design is being abandoned for a new one (designed by me - Structural). However if they close the open application and file a new one the client will be required to follow stricter code requirements (for architectural and MEP) that will make the project not feasible.

So I am being asked to put the previous engineer's design on my title block, sign and seal, and submit to DOB so I become the new EOR. Then I will file my new design as an amendment. I told the client I cannot do this. The code consultant/expediter said that this is how it is done. And I believe the other design professionals are going to do it.

I can't imagine "cutting and pasting" someone else's work (even though it will never be built) to do these "filing gymnastics".

I have a call into my state board but they are slow in replying. ASCE recommended talking to the board to see if they would allow an exception. But I doubt it?

Thank you.

RE: Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

This sounds like an attempt to skirt building code requirements put in place by the AHJ. It may be done often, and perhaps even with the knowledge of the AHJ.

However, the only ethical way I can see you responding is either:
a) Refuse to do it, or
b) Do a full analysis/design review of the original design to assure yourself that it is safe, meets the code, etc. and then sign and seal "that" design.

The concern here is that the "plan" is to redesign it later, but it could be that once you sign and seal this other engineer's work, without reviewing it, that things could change and that design is actually used in construction. There's perhaps no guarantee that they won't use it. And then you would have signed and sealed a work that wasn't prepared under your direct supervision.

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RE: Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

No way I would do what you have described.

How can there be an open permit application unless these documents have already been submitted stamped and signed? If there is an open permit application, why would they now need an old design stamped? Why not just stamp the new design and submit that as a revision. This sounds fishy. Maybe you are being given the run around by someone trying to design to an older code for some reason.

RE: Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

You cannot do this and retain your professional integrity. Perhaps you need to find more honorable people to work with.

RE: Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

If meeting the current code requirements makes the project unfeasible (usually translated that it will cost a little more), then it shouldn't be built. Changes to code requirements are made for good reasons (or at least as professionals responsible for public safety, we must assume that is the case).

RE: Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

If the other guy already submitted his sealed drawings, there shouldn't be any reason for you to re-submit those same drawings with your seal- just submit your new drawings as an amendment to those already in. And it might help there to essentially duplicate the title sheets, title blocks and page numbering with (with your name)- IE, do what you can reasonably do to make it look like a revision of the other drawings. Jack up the hood ornament and drive a new car under it, so to speak.

If the original drawings never were submitted, I don't see how it would matter who sealed what, just seal your new drawings and be done with it.

On a small project, person A might seal it all, then person B might take over the job and seal new stuff, and it'd be obvious it was two different designs, two different people. On a big project with 50 engineers, you'd have people coming and going all the time anyway, and they wouldn't require you to start from scratch if one of those 50 left the project. You don't ever see a headline that says "Stadium must start from scratch since Joe Blow retired".

RE: Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

I'm with everyone, just can't see how this works. Must be a giant loophole. Do you also need to provide written declaration that the design is unchanged aside from title block? How else will the DoB know this isn't a design change by stealth? Even so, what is the protection from dodgy operators making false declarations?

Which jurisdiction are you in? Has the code consultant shown you what clause of the planning code (or whatever) permits this?

That said, the issue would be if you stamped something unchecked or that wasn't up to scratch just because it may not be built; or if you personally aren't happy with them trying to get around the code revisions. However, if the DoB allows game-playing as described, you could take the view that's their business not yours.

RE: Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

Thanks for all the replies...I don't think there is anyway I would do this unless I have a blessing from the state engineering board.

RE: Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

In case anyone is still interested here is what the DOB says on their website about changing applicants:

Change/Withdrawal of Applicants

Change Applicant of Record for Project Application Prior to Permit
To change an Applicant-of-Record for the project, it must be superseded by another applicant. New signed and sealed drawings by the superseding applicant must be submitted to the Department. It is unethical to sign and seal another professional’s drawings. Applicants may exercise one of the two option listed below:

Option I
Leave the approved construction documents in place and acknowledge the design submittal by the first applicant, and supersede the execution responsibilities from the superseding applicant – require acknowledgement from both professionals.

Option II
With owner’s consent, the superseding applicant submits revised documents as the new applicant of record with his/her sign and seal.

RE: Sealing work by others for filing purposes...

Why aren't they skipping this copy-drawing business and just go straight to the revised design? That appears to be option 2: new applicant and revised design in one go.

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